If you’re doing these 11 things, you’re not living an authentic life

Have you ever stopped to think, “Am I being true to myself?”

It’s a big question, right?

Being true to yourself means living life your way. It’s about doing what you love, believing in what you think is right, and not just doing what others expect from you.

But how do you know if you’re being true to yourself?

There are a few signs that can show if you’re living your own life or just going along with the crowd.

In this article, we’ll talk about 11 of these signs.

Don’t worry, we all mess up sometimes. But if you know what to look out for, you can start making changes to live a more genuine life.

So, let’s get started. 

1. You’re Constantly Pleasing Others

Have you ever found yourself saying ‘yes’ to something you don’t want to do, just to keep the peace or make someone else happy? If your answer is ‘yes,’ then you might not be living an authentic life.

When we bend over backwards to please others, we often forget about our own needs and desires. It’s like we’re playing a role in a movie, constantly trying to fit into a character that’s not really us.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to help others and be kind. But not at the expense of your own happiness or values.

After all, it’s your life and you should be the one calling the shots, not someone else.

So next time you feel the urge to say ‘yes’ when you really mean ‘no’, take a moment.

Ask yourself if this is what you want or if you’re just trying to please someone else.

Remember, it’s okay to prioritize your own needs – it’s not selfish, it’s self-care.

2. You’re Chasing Perfection

Are you that person who’s always striving for perfection?

The one who gets stressed if everything isn’t flawless? If this sounds familiar, you might be veering off the path of authenticity.

It’s natural to want to do your best.

But expecting to always be perfect is like chasing a mirage in the desert.

It’s not real, it’s not attainable, and it can leave you feeling exhausted and unsatisfied.

The truth is, perfection doesn’t exist. But you know what does? Growth. Making mistakes, learning from them, and becoming better – that’s what life is all about.

So, instead of aiming for perfection, why not aim for progress? Embrace your flaws and learn from your mistakes.

It’s our quirks and failures that make us human and unique. And there’s nothing more authentic than that. 

3. You’re Ignoring Your Gut

I remember a time when I was offered a high-paying job that, on paper, seemed perfect.

But there was this nagging feeling in my gut, a whisper that said, “This isn’t right for you.”

Against my better judgment, I pushed that feeling aside and took the job.

Guess what happened? It was a disaster. The job was stressful, the environment was toxic, and I was miserable.

My gut feeling had been right all along but I chose to ignore it.

Sometimes we ignore our instincts because we’re scared or because we think we ‘should’ do something.

We drown out that little voice inside us that knows what’s best for us.

But your gut instinct is a powerful tool. It’s your inner compass, guiding you towards what’s right for you.

If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

4. You’re Comparing Yourself to Others

In this age of social media, it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap. “Look at their amazing vacation,” “Their job seems so much better than mine,” “Why can’t I have a relationship like theirs?”

Does this sound familiar? If yes, then authenticity might be slipping out of your grasp.

Some studies have suggested that comparing ourselves to others on social media can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.

Essentially, when we compare our lives to the highlight reels of others, we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment and unhappiness.

Comparison is a slippery slope that leads away from an authentic life.

Instead of focusing on others, let’s try to concentrate on ourselves. Each one of us is unique, with our own paths and journeys.

Celebrate your individuality and stop comparing. The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday. 

5. You’re Not Being Honest About Your Feelings

Heart-to-heart time, folks. Have you ever found yourself smiling when you’re actually hurting inside?

Or saying “I’m fine,” when you’re anything but? If this resonates, you might be straying from an authentic life.

Being true to yourself also means being honest about your feelings.

It’s about recognizing your emotions, accepting them, and expressing them in a healthy way.

It’s okay to feel sad, angry, or scared. These emotions are part of being human.

When we hide our true feelings, we’re denying an essential part of who we are.

We build walls around ourselves and push people away, even when we need them the most.

Remember, it’s okay to show vulnerability. It doesn’t make you weak; it makes you human.

By opening up and sharing your feelings with others, you’re not only being true to yourself but also inviting more authenticity and connection into your life.

So let’s wear our hearts on our sleeves and express how we truly feel!

6. You’re Not Taking Time for Self-Care

A few years back, I was juggling a high-pressure job, family responsibilities, and a bustling social life. It was go, go, go all the time.

I was always doing something for someone else, and I barely had any time left for myself.

Sound familiar? If you’re constantly on the run and neglecting your own needs, you might not be living as authentically as you think.

It took a wake-up call in the form of burnout for me to realize that I was neglecting my own self-care. I was so focused on taking care of everything and everyone around me that I forgot to take care of myself.

Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s essential. It’s about taking time to recharge, to do things you love, and to take care of your physical and mental health.

When you prioritize self-care, you’re being true to yourself and your needs. And guess what? You’ll also have more energy and positivity to share with others.

7. You’re Living in the Past or Future

If you’re always dwelling on past mistakes or constantly worrying about the future, you’re not living an authentic life.

You’re stuck in a time that’s not now, and that’s not where life happens.

Dwelling on the past can fill you with regret. Fretting about the future can create unnecessary anxiety.

Either way, you’re not truly living in the present, and that’s where life really happens – right here, right now.

It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys.’ But these thoughts only trap us in a cycle of regret and worry. They rob us of our present joy and potential happiness.

So let’s do ourselves a favor. Let’s leave the past where it belongs and let the future unfold as it will.

Focus on the present moment, because that’s all we really have. Live it, enjoy it, be authentic in it.

Remember, life is happening now!

8. You’re Ignoring Your Dreams

People who chase their dreams and aspirations are generally happier and have higher well-being than those who don’t.

If you’ve been ignoring your dreams, whether it’s traveling the world, writing a book, or starting your own business, you might not be living an authentic life.

Our dreams reflect our true selves. They represent our passions, our desires, and our aspirations. When we ignore them, we deny a part of who we are.

Living authentically means acknowledging your dreams and taking steps towards them, no matter how small.

It may not always be easy – there might be challenges and obstacles along the way – but the journey towards your dreams is a journey worth taking.

So dust off those dreams and start making them a part of your life.

Not only will you be living more authentically, but you’ll also be paving the way to a happier and more fulfilling life. 

9. You’re Not Standing Up for Your Beliefs

I remember a time when a friend made a derogatory comment about a cause that I deeply care about.

I was uncomfortable and upset, but I didn’t say anything. I let it slide. Looking back, I realize that in that moment, I wasn’t being true to myself.

If you’re not standing up for your beliefs, you might be straying from an authentic life.

Our beliefs define us. They shape our perspective of the world and guide our actions. When we don’t stand up for them, we’re letting others dictate our narrative. We’re suppressing our voice.

Standing up for your beliefs might not be easy. It might cause conflict or discomfort. But it’s vital to living an authentic life. It shows that you respect yourself and your values.

So next time you find yourself in a situation where your beliefs are challenged or disrespected, speak up.

Stand your ground. Be true to who you are and what you believe in. Remember, your voice matters and so do your beliefs. 

10. You’re Settling for Less

If you’re settling for less than you deserve, whether in relationships, career or personal goals, you are not living an authentic life.

Settling is like telling yourself, “I can’t do any better.” It’s a disservice to your potential and a betrayal of your self-worth.

You deserve happiness, respect, and fulfillment just as much as anyone else. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

So, stop settling. Start reaching for what you truly want and know you deserve. It may be scary and it might require hard work, but the reward of living a life that’s true to you is worth it.

11. You’re Not Accepting Yourself

Here’s the harsh truth: If you’re always criticizing yourself or wishing you were someone else, you’re not living an authentic life.

Self-acceptance is the cornerstone of authenticity. It’s about embracing who you are – flaws, quirks, strengths, and all. It’s about celebrating your uniqueness instead of comparing yourself to others.

We all have our shortcomings, and that’s okay. They make us human. So instead of berating yourself for your flaws, accept them. They are part of who you are.

Remember, there’s only one you in this world. Be proud of who you are. Celebrate yourself.

Because being your authentic self is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and the world. 

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Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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